Synthesis, partiality, and convergence: recurrent themes in social thought

Glossop, Robert (1977). Synthesis, partiality, and convergence: recurrent themes in social thought. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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An analysis of the epistemological reflections of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Dilthey, Rickert, and Max Weber has provided an historically informed understanding of Historicism. There follows an interpretation of Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge as simultaneously an explicit expression of an increasing apprehension of the limitations of man’s finite cognitive capacities and a systematic effort to explore the implications of any attempt to maintain a world-view without recourse to absolutist philosophical presuppositions. The more contemporary works of Talcott Parsons and Alvin Gouldner are subsequently analyzed such that their respective orientations are interpreted as implicit and explicit attempts to overcome the relativistic implications arising out of the post-Marxian epistemologies which have significantly influenced the character of modern sociological theory. The theoretical gap concerning the relationship between the sociology of knowledge and certain theoretical orientations normally regarded as radically distinct from it has, thereby, been partially enucleated. Out of the confrontation with the implications of post-historicist conceptualizations of ’knowledge’ as necessarily partial and perspectivistic has often emerged a committment to an assumption according to which knowledge is regarded as resultant from the synthesizing capacities of the human intellect. As such, there has been a convergence around the concept of convergence itself in so far as it is a ’search for synthesis’ which is believed to continually precede the creation of progressively broader and more comprehensive syntheses of perspectival viewpoints.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Commerce and Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)


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